By NICOLA MORIARTY
I never read What To Expect When You’re Expecting. And yet when I fell pregnant, I had a lot of expectations.
I expected a smooth pregnancy, where I felt endearingly weak and ill for the first three months and then the remaining six months, I glowed.
I expected a problem-free birth, with candles, music and long meaningful looks between my husband and I. I expected to wince with pain, but to grit my teeth as I shook my head ‘no’ to the drugs on offer.
And I expected to take my new baby into my arms after a respectable three to four hour labour, smile lovingly at her and begin my journey of motherhood with complete confidence and grace.
Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Lights by Tena. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100 per cent authentic and written in their own words.
But rarely do these types of things go to plan. In the scheme of things, my pregnancy was pretty good – a few UTIs and morning sickness that was more like all-day sickness and lasted the entire nine months – but no major hiccups. The birth however, was far from problem-free. Turns out I didn’t have the uncanny tolerance for pain that I had weirdly expected.
I screamed, I swore and when the midwife suggested the epidural, I nodded my head in defeat. God only knows what I was trying to prove without it anyway.
But that’s when things went really wrong. They realised my baby was in distress, her heart rate was dropping and the decision was made that she needed to get out – now. I was prepped for a caesarean and there was no time for the epidural. I was put under a general anaesthetic and woke hours later with a dry mouth, a foggy head and no knowledge of the whereabouts or state of health of my baby.
When I finally met my daughter, I was confused, groggy and teary. I cried when they handed her to me, but I can’t say that it was tears of happiness, rather it was the tears of someone who was overwhelmed, distraught and in shock.
I really didn’t know what to expect after a c-section. I hadn’t listened during the antenatal classes when the midwife spoke about the after effects of a caesarean. I was too busy being smug about my imagined perfect birth. I was extraordinarily naïve.